School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness (Executive Summary)

Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Jan 18, 2017
Lisa Dragoset, Jaime Thomas, Mariesa Herrmann, John Deke, Susanne James-Burdumy, Cheryl Graczewski, Andrea Boyle, Rachel Upton, Courtney Tanenbaum, and Jessica Giffin

Key Findings:

  • Schools implementing a SIG-funded intervention model used more SIG-promoted practices than other schools (23 versus 20, out of the 35 practices examined), but there was no evidence that SIG caused schools to use more practices.
  • Implementing a SIG-funded model had no impact on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.
  • Elementary schools had similar improvements in math and reading test scores regardless of which SIG model they implemented.
  • Secondary schools implementing the turnaround model had larger improvements in math test scores than those implementing the transformation model. In contrast, reading improvements were similar for all models. The differences in math improvements across models might be due to factors other than the model implemented, such as differences between schools that existed before they received grants.

This executive summary describes key findings from a report from Mathematica’s multiyear evaluation of School Improvement Grants (SIG) for the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. It examines the practices used by schools that received grants and schools that did not, examines whether SIG had an impact on student achievement, and examines whether student achievement improved more with some school intervention models than with others.


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Susanne James-Burdumy
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Mariesa Herrmann
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Lisa Dragoset
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John Deke
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Jaime Thomas
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